I grew up primarily in the 90’s, and every episode of “Captain Planet” and the recycling episode of “Rocko’s Modern Life” (who else remembers that episode??) transformed me into an hippie boho airy fairy Earth child. Recycling, conserving water, and living a more sustainable life became super important to me. As I have gotten older, my passion for treading lightly on Mother Earth has only grown stronger. There are some simple life hacks that I implement in my daily life that are hopefully contributing positively to Earth. Here are five of them:1. I Revised My Diet: I used to eat meat at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Around nine years ago, I began to watch a lot of documentaries related to food production and saw that the production of animals for food is very detrimental to our ecosystem. Countries are tearing down valuable rainforest land to raise cattle, farmers are pumping animals full of antibiotics and other medicines that are leading to the rise of drug resistant diseases in humans, and our waterways are being polluted with runoff from these farms. Additionally, lots of crops are now GMO and are sprayed with questionable pesticides. I significantly cut down on my meat intake and eventually chose to become a pesceterian two years ago (I’ll write a blog post on this later). I buy the fruits and veggies listed on the “Dirty Dozen” list organic to avoid exposure to unnecessary toxins. Remember that these suppliers are expanding their production to keep up with demand, so if we collectively buy less, they will produce less.
2. Consider Use Value: Before I purchase something, I always try and calculate the use value in my mind. Before going on a spending spree at Forever 21, I consider how many wears I will realistically get out of the items. Will they fall apart in after one wash? Are they constructed out of plastics or are the materials more durable? I’m not really a fashionista and rarely go shopping, so I prefer quality over quantity.
3. Travel: This seems kind of counter intuitive as many methods of travel – including air travel – are not that eco friendly, but my point here is that the more you see of the world, the more you appreciate Mother Earth. Traveling has expanded my horizons so much and I have visited some pretty breathtaking destinations. However, if we continue at the rate that we are going, many of these beautiful landscapes will not be around for future generations to enjoy.
4. Read Labels: The majority of the ingredients in our bath and body products that we use every day go un-regulated. Companies are not required to list the ingredients in these products. Any person who has ever worn lip gloss or lipstick knows that you end up inadvertently ingesting whatever you put on your lips as the day goes on from eating lunch, drinking water, or licking your lips. All of these chemicals are going into your body and into our waterways as you shower and use the bathroom. I pt for more natural products when I have the opportunity. I am currently transitioning all of my bath and body products to natural ones, and I am also dabbling in creating some of my own.
5. Cut Down on Plastic: This is probably the single most important thing you can do. Plastic is clogging up our landfills. It just sits there for around 1000 years. Plastic bags started being in mainstream use in the 1960’s. That means that every single plastic bag that has ever been thrown away is still in existence in the landfills. That is a creepy thought. Our food is shrink wrapped in plastic that we then throw away, our Amazon orders come wrapped in plastic, our shampoo is cased in plastic, and our clothes are made of plastic. Our waterways are being clogged with plastics. It is a huge problem. Luckily there are several alternatives to using plastic. I store my leftovers in mason jars rather than plastic Tupperware. I also check the label on any item packaged in plastic. If the packaging is not recyclable (It should have a number on the bottom, #1-#7), I don’t buy it.
Comment Below: There are many small steps that we can take to help make our Earth a better place to live. What are your favorite life hacks for living a more sustainable lifestyle?